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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Woodley speaks out

Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley isn't a happy camper right now and he spoke out about the issue today in a story by Yahoo's Michael Silver.

Unhappy that he is still without a contract past the 2010 season, Woodley expressed his frustration to Silver.

"It's kind of jacked up," Woodley said. "Everything I've ever done for the Steelers, on and off the field, has been positive. Sometimes you don't get the same thing back in return."

"I'm not going to lie - I was a little disappointed that they didn't offer anything at all," Woodley continued. "I felt that was a little weird. I guess they decided they're going to sit back and wait for the CBA and all that to play out.

"You look around the league and you see different teams getting stuff done with their players in similar situations, and you think, 'What, the Steelers don't care about me?' Stuff like that goes through your mind."

Woodley is scheduled to earn $550,000 this season, the final year of his orignal rookie deal.

The Steelers, however, are in a tough spot with him thanks to the lack of a CBA for 2011. They cannot offer him a new contract that would include a base salary increase of more than 30 percent next season under the current NFL rules.

There are ways around that – giving large signing and roster bonuses – but the Steelers don't generally do that. And with the uncertainty surrounding the CBA negotiations, signing a player to a long-term deal may not be prudent.

So Woodley will stew about his deal. But in the end, he'll remain with the Steelers, despite his current level of unhappiness.


Brawny Tom said...

Thanks Dale! Any thoughts on the Steelers showing up for C. Pitts workout today?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't they work out a one-year contract with like a $5 million signing bonus, just to keep him happy in the short term?

Anonymous said...

I guess this is the time when all the guys with no GM or sports management experience chime in with ignorant statements about how easy it would be to manipulate the system and get Woodley his money. But that's the heart and not the head that's doing the thinking.

Looking back at Kevin Cobert's decision making as it relates to contact negotiations 99% of the time he's made the right choice. Guys like Woodley will get theirs, they just have to go through the process and the big payday will come. Probably not the popular opinion but I bet its the one the Steelers would agree with.

Anonymous said...

ya Woodley will get his....from a different team!

marc said...

based on woodley's statements, it sounds like the steelers have had little or no communication with him, other than to say "we're not doing a deal right now." that is what i would be pissed about, and it seems that's what has him going too.

a little meeting to tell him he's their first signing as soon as the cba is done is all it would take.

Dale Lolley said...

Woodley's not going anywhere. If it comes down to it, they'll franchise him next year.

The Steelers aren't going to rush into a bad deal - because nobody knows if there will be a cap or if it will go up or even down in the future - just to satisfy a player who's already under contract.

Dale Lolley said...

Oh, and giving him a $5 million signing bonus on a one-year deal would mean he counts that entire total against the cap this year. How many guys you cutting to make that happen?

Henigin said...

Nobody - that's the beauty of the UNCAPPED year.

Henigin said...

To expand further - the Steelers wouldn't have to cut anyone, but what would they get in return for just giving Woodley extra money? An additional year? Not likely. Better performance? No.

The Steelers aren't holding off on giving Woodley a single-season raise or a new contract because there is no possible way to do so. As Dale pointed out, it would have to be large roster and signing bonuses or something of the like, and that's not their way of operating. They're taking this stance because in light of the current circumstances and constraints it is a smart business decision.

IMO, Woodley's complaint is valid to some extent, but he and the team are working within the rules that were agreed upon by their representatives - the NFLPA and the league, respectively. Woodley's primary complaint should be with the NFLPA for negotiating terms that set up this situation, and for not getting a deal done yet that will allow better circumstances for a new contract. If he's frustrated that the Steelers won't change their way of doing business to get his deal done within the current constraints, that's his right to not like it.

Patrick said...

This just expands on what Henigin said, but the cash flow of the team has to be taken into consideration too. Not that the Steelers can't afford it, but a 1-2 year band aid deal is going to require a ton of cash out the door for not much of an investment. Considering the economic times, plus the change in ownership, I'm sure that is weighing on the decision as well.

I think they'll offer him something nice after the season if theres a new CBA. If not, he'll get tagged, assuming it exists, to start negotiations.

If there is no franchise tag, the Steelers are really going to lose leverage and could lose Woodley.

Anonymous said...

Woodley's a restricted free agent. What's the rumpus?

Anonymous said...

Will he still be a RFA if the CBA expires, or would he automatically become an UFA?

emac2 said...

What I am reading between the lines on the Woodley issue is that he isn't going to extend for less then top dollar and if there is no discount at all why would the Steelers give him anything?

Goodwill doesn't earn you much of anything these days and while I think I would figure out a way to give him an extra million for this year I wouldn't do it until just before the start of the season for leverage reasons.

I wouldn't be surprised if Woodleys agent has yet to offer to sign a long term deal at market rates that also factors in his current year contracted rate.

I expect them to give him a big money deal next year with the expectation that they will have to bite the bullet on two big money linebackers for a year or two until they release Harrison.

On the other hand he looks to be eyeing top of the heap money and in that case maybe letting him go next year as a restricted FA with a high tender (2 number ones assuming the CBA is the same???) might be the smart way to go if our last draft is looking promising.

I don't think I am comfortable tagging him next year if he doesn't hold out and or cause problems...The team needs to show the players some honor. especially the good guys who get selectivly screwed by the system. I'm OK losing guys and being a worse team if I can feel good about how we operate.

It's also important that we show the players that if they don't play games with holdouts we won't play comparable games. Holding our players to a higher standard should be mirrored by the team in their dealings with the players. Not in terms of more money but maybe not taking advantage of every loophole a CBA gives a team to be "less then fair"